Legal Brief: Protection Against Domestic Terror

March 13, 2023
Security Business Magazine

Types : Bylined Articles

Recent attacks on critical infrastructure highlight the integrator’s role in terrorism prevention

I have had the honor and privilege of serving our country – both as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. In advance of assuming these positions, I was obligated, under law, to take an oath. That oath, in sum and substance, was as follows: I, Timothy J. Pastore, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter.

When most people think of protecting our country, they think of defending against foreign threats; however, the oath specifically refers to “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Domestic, of course, means enemies from within – our fellow Americans.

It is sad that we must defend against any enemies, but it is particularly depressing that they would come from within. But this is our reality.

In early February 2023, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the FBI had intercepted the plans of two neo-Nazis allegedly to shoot electric power stations in Baltimore. Thankfully, the hapless couple who allegedly devised the plot failed; otherwise, substantial damage and chaos could have ensued.